There will be some repetition with the “Top Myths” (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3) and the “tips for newbies” articles – I’ll apologise about that right from the start. “Mistakes” may be the wrong word for it, but it’s a general “catch-all” term that’ll do. This article will have a distinct Slimming World bias, but it’ll apply equally to other plans as well I imagine.
Mistake 1 – Comparing to other plans/ideologies
You’ve chosen Slimming World (or another plan) but start comparing to other “advice” and wonder why the difference. The main one I’ve seen is calorie counting. Most “guidelines” seem to say either 1500 or 2000 calories a day for Women and another 500 for men. But then you look at what you’re eating on Slimming World and wonder how you’re going to lose weight when it seems you’re eating more than the “advised” number of Calories.
All I’ll say is “trust the plan”. With Slimming World – there’s over 45 (nearly 50) years of operational experience. If the plan didn’t work, would the company still be around after all that time? Even more important to think about – the company is still owned by Margaret Miles-Bramwell – the person who started the company all those years ago. This isn’t a “fly by night” fad “diet” that won’t be here tomorrow.
Mistake 2 – The term “diet”
I’ve made the mistake of thinking of Slimming World as a “diet”. The problem is that the term “diet” has (when discussing weight loss) been corrupted and in most people’s eyes is perceived as being “restrictive”. You can only eat this; you can’t have that; blah, blah, blah. Restrictive “diets” seem to have a “shelf life” – people only follow them for so long and then get bored with the “restrictions”. They then make excuses for this treat and that treat. A proper weight loss/management lifestyle helps counter that and should not be restrictive.
Slimming World’s Food Optimising plans are anything but restrictive and that’s why I like them so much. If I want chocolate – I can have chocolate. If i want Ice cream – I can have ice cream and if I want a beer/wine/whisky – I can have it. All I’ve got to do is keep within my syns. If i choose to go over my syns (which can happen – particularly celebrations such as birthdays, Christmas, Easter, etc) – it’s done in the knowledge that my weight loss may be affected.
Mistake 3 – Not having Syns because they’re “bad”
I said above that Slimming World is not a restrictive food plan. Syns are there to be enjoyed as/when necessary. How you use them is up to you but do use them if needed. Be it having some ketchup/brown sauce with your chips (Not tried Slimming World chips yet? Why not? They may take a few attempts to perfect but I know many people who have converted family members to them over oven chips or chip shop chips). Want a slice of cake? Work out the syns or make it yourself – there’s plenty of recipes out there for low syn cakes (The only one I have on here at the moment is for scanbran cakes but getting hold of scanbran seems to be getting harder and harder). The wonderful “Slimming Eats” website has loads of cake recipes in its recipe collection.
Mistake 4 – Not taking full advantage of your membership
I’ve already posted about “how to waste £4.95 and the importance of staying to group” but it bares repeating. Why pay £4.95 (or whatever your weekly fee is for your chosen eating plan) and not stay to group (if you can that is – I understand it’s not always possible)? Groups (if it’s the right group for you) is truly (in my opinion) where the real magic happens. It’s the place for support, ideas, and advice. It’s where to go for that kick up the bum (figuratively speaking that is). As well as being the place to pass on your own finds/experiences.
Mistake 5 – weighing yourself at home
Oh my. How many times have I heard/read about this? So you started with a food plan two days ago and your home scales say you’ve gained weight. So what? Never mind that scales at any group (or even just your Doctor’s surgery) are never going to match your scales at home. Scales at your Doctor’s surgery are never going to match the ones at group either. That gain could be the differences between scales, or it could be the body adjusting to the new foods you’re putting into it. Any changes will affect the scales in the short-term – sometimes that change can be a loss, and sometimes that change will be a gain.
Two different scales (be they different manufacturers or different models from the same manufacturer) simply can not be compared to each other. Your home scales from Argos costing £20 will not compare to the professional scales at a group that cost much more. You might as well compare the performance of a Vauxhall Corsa with that of a Ferrari.
Mistake 6 – Comparing Foods
Just because brand “X” is syn free, does not mean brand “Y” of the same thing will be as well. Whilst it may give you a good idea, they can be wildly different in Syn counts (or whatever units your chosen plan uses). If you have the tools to check, check. Same goes for the same product in different packaging. Just because 150g tub of vanilla fat-free yogurt in Aldi is syn free does not mean that the 450g tub of the same thing is also syn free. It’s actually 8.5syns per tub (presumably it uses a different recipe).
Mistake 7 – Low fat = Low Syn; Fat free= Syn free?
If only. When the food manufacturers remove fat from a recipe they are also potentially removing some of the flavour. That flavour needs to be replaced. Unfortunately the way a lot of manufacturers do so is by adding sugar. Half the fat of the “normal” product can mean twice the sugar – all adding syns. a tin of “low-fat” rice pudding is often only a few syns less than the syn count for the “normal” tin of the same product. Whilst (approx 150g) tubs of Muller light fat-free yogurts are (primarily) syn free (UPDATE – Fat Free fruit flavoured yogurts are no longer syn free – please check on Syns Online for updated values), the 450g Dr Onken tubs of fat-free yogurt range from 5syns and upwards depending on the flavour.
Same fr meat products – a low-fat sausage can be almost as many syns as a “normal” sausage. Burgers made with 5% fat mince may not be syn free (though 5% mince (or below) is generally considered Syn Free) as they may have added other flavours or even just breadcrumbs. Again – if you have the means to check – check.
Mistake 8 – Taking everything you are told as “gospel”
“Any syn values in recipes (or other posts) are correct at time of being published – however syn values (and healthy extra values) do change”.
The above (or words to that effect) appears on every page on this site as well as the “Disclaimer” page. Mistakes happen. Syn values change. I’ve even come across occasions where people have posted the recipe for a dish knowing that the syn count is incorrect.
It’s your mouth, your weight management journey. That means it’s (in my opinion) your responsibility to be sure of what you are putting into your mouth. Don’t take it as “gospel” because someone at group said so. Remember – Slimming World Consultants are human beings too – they also occasionally make mistakes.
Mistake 9 – Healthy Eating is Expensive
Is it? I’d hope looking through this site has proved it doesn’t have to be expensive to lose weight.
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